Noriko Ashida was born in Tokyo, Japan and was close to her brother but ran away from home at age 13 after her powers manifested. She claims that her father doesn't believe in mutants. It's unknown how she got to the US but when she did, she was living on the streets of Salem Center when she went up to the Xavier Institute for help. Julian Keller chased her away, thinking she was just a crazy homeless person. Later, she had a serious power discharge harming the Grindstone Cafe waitress in the process. Led by Elixir, a group was gathered to search for her that night. Surge was found buying drugs which were thought to cause the problems with her powers. Sofia blew them away, but it turned out to be the other way around: Without the drugs, her powers were out of control. Laurie subdued her with her emotion-manipulating pheromones, and they took her to the Institute. Beast then designed special metallic gauntlets that could regulate and control her ability to absorb ambient electrical energy, thereby preventing further overloads.
Nori became a student of Xavier's School when the school adopted a squad system. She was assigned to Dani Moonstar's New Mutants squad with Elixir, Wallflower, Wind Dancer, Prodigy, and Icarus. She reluctantly roomed with the Afgani mutant, Dust; the two young women disagreed and repeatedly clashed on the accepted role of women in society and the Muslim traditions Sooraya wanted to follow. Soon, the romantic relationship between Josh and Wolfsbane was revealed by the jealous Wither and faced much ostracizing from his fellow classmates. Surge is one of the one's who accepted him or didn't care. Using his powers in a new light, Josh restored Rahne's mutant powers, Josh was mauled by the newly feral Wolfsbane. Surge put her ingenuity to test, using her electrokinetic discharges to shock Josh into healing himself without harming him. Later, her teammate, David asked Emma Frost to remove a mental block on his mind that prevents him from accessing his full power. David gets corrupted from the knowledge and skills and power he absorbs and had married Noriko. One thing led to another, and Nori died and it was revealed that this was a complex illusion with a likely outcome orchestrated by Emma Frost and Dani Moonstar. Feeling guilty, David avoided Nori, who was very annoyed at that fact. She eventually cornered him and from there the two became an active couple.
The events of House of M left 90% of the mutant population de-powered and human, one of them being her boyfriend, David causing them to both rethink their relationship as only 27 students were left with their powers. Nori and a couple other students were introduced to David's creation, the Danger Cave, using borrowed knowledge, skills, and intelligence from Beast, Shadowcat, and Forge. Wither, who had thought that he had lost his powers, touched Laurie on the arm but he hadn't and he half-way withered her arm away. The New Mutant squad, de-powered or powered, rushed to her side and Wither ran away. Quickly after that, Emma Frost fired Nori's squad leader, Mirage, and the staff fearing for their safety, sent the remaining now human students home on buses. Luckily, Nori retained her powers. One bus of de-powered students as it departed was blown up by anti-mutant zealot Reverend William Stryker. Though de-powered, David and Sofia, weren't killed and though Sofia immediately left, David and Nori deepened their relationship as a response. Most of the remaining students, except Nezhno, Laurie, Ernst, Martha who were excused and the Three-In-One who refused to take part in such savage behavior, were organized by Emma Frost into a large battle to see who would become a member of the trainee X-team. Nori had attacked Julian without mercy since he had bullied and teased David for a long time and it had only escalated since he had lost his powers. Since Julian didn't take down X-23, Emma, out of spite, made Nori the team leader much to her surprise as Mercury, Rockslide, Elixir, Dust, and Hellion were appointed on the team. Cyclops forcibly appointed X-23 on the team against Emma's will. Soon after, she was gifted with new and improved gauntlets, definitely lighter. They were still at risk since Stryker's crusade against the 10% of mutants left in the world. After he ordered the assassinations of Wallflower and Quill and luring an oblivious and naive Icarus to his side and capturing Nimrod and disassembling it using its weaponry to directly attack the Institute itself. Nori led her fellow classmates and, now teammates, against him and Josh who was enraged at the deaths of Laurie and his de-powered friends on the doomed bus uses his powers to kill Stryker but is left in a comatose state.
When Avengers, Ms. Marvel and Iron Man, visit the Xavier Institute, Emma, Cyclops, and the students learn that Jay was killed by Stryker but had left a message with his blood saying Nimr. Later, Forge sends a distress message through Nori's gauntlets that Nimrod is there having pieced himself together enough to go to Forge for repairs. The X-Men, going off to Storm and Black Panther's wedding, leave the students with the O*N*E Sentinels and refuse to believe Nimrod is back. Seeing Nimrod as a huge threat, Nori steps up as leader to convince the team to sneak out and take down Nimrod themselves and save Forge. David puts together a plan to sneak out of the school without the Sentinels guard finding out. The New X-Men including Prodigy reach Dallas and proceed to save Forge but Nimrod transfers himself into a new body and is about to kill them all but they form a plan and in the end after X-23 cuts Nimrod's new body open and Mercury uses her shape-shifting to keep it open, Surge removes her gauntlets and pours all her power into Nimrod damaging him once more and jaunting him into the past. Surge and Prodigy are summoned to Cyclops' office. They think they are in trouble for disobeying direct orders but Cyclops commends them for their good work in defeating Nimrod and saving Forge and recognize them as true members of the X-Men.
Nori and David are completely unaware of most the events that have transpired in this arc and are trying to recruit Bling to their team after being told by Cyclops that she had done extremely well with the Adjectiveless X-team in the Blood of Apocalypse arc. She refuses saying that being an X-Men means being put on the lines for a firing squad. Onyxx who is with her blurts out that he saw Laura come back all bloody without Cessily from the Grindstone Cafe. Nori and David panic and rush off and ask Sooraya about it. Nori then is about to leave the school taking Dust and Rockslide with her to search for Hellion, X-23, and Mercury are ready to take down the O*NE Megaton Sentinel along the way. They're stopped by Shadowcat who takes them inside to strategize. Surge, Cyclops, Rockslide, Dust, Elixir, Emma Frost, Shadowcat, and Colossus arrive in the nick of time to save the trio.
Quest For Magik
Along with Hellion, Surge was the only other student from the Xavier Institute that wasn't pulled into Limbo, having pulled Hellion out of the mansion to berate him for going to rescue Mercury without either consulting her or bringing the rest of the New X-Men. Trapped outside of the Mansion by Belasco's spells, the two battered the barrier helplessly in order to get to their friends. Their only contact with the other students during this time being Trance's message that David was dead, killed by the demonic sorcerer himself, saddening and enraging Surge in equal measure. After forcing Amanda Sefton out of a coma, she forced Sefton to take her and Hellion to Limbo, with the added guest of a piloted Sentinel. Hellion flew her and himself to Belasco's castle, and they both took part in the final battle against Belasco and the hordes of Limbo. Surge battled the Hulk with the rest of the New X-Men in World War Hulk: X-Men. Beginning to crumble under the pressure of leadership in this time of great stress, and fearing for David's life, Surge makes constant attempts to get him to leave the school so that he will be safe, even going so far as to kiss Hellion to make David jealous, and even attacking him. David dumps her after this.
When Surge heard about the attack in Alaska, and that the Purifiers were involved, she immediately tries to convince Cyclops to let her and the rest of the team help find the mutant child, but are rebuffed. Angry with Summers and frustrated that the human terrorists who murdered their friends are getting let off scot-free, Surge launches an unauthorized attack against a Purifier Church, consisting of the New X-Men team (minus David, Dust and Elixir) plus Armor. Initially, the attack goes well; the New X-Men defeat numerous Purifiers and damage the church, as well as determine that the baby is not in the hands of Risman's followers. However, things take a turn for the worse when the Purifiers are reinforced by Lady Deathstrike and her Reavers, and Hellion is mortally injured in the process. When they are picked up by Iceman (after Pixie scatters them between Westchester and Washington with a teleportation spell gone wrong) and they return to the school. With Hellion badly wounded and the Mansion in ruins, Nori began to doubt her abilities in leading the team. When discussing it with Emma Frost, the White Queen told Nori that the reason she chose her as team leader was because she "knew she would take care of them, including from her". When Predator X arrived at the school to prey upon the remaining students, Surge, despite her considerable doubts, leaps into action, holding the mutant-killing monstrosity at bay and buying time for them to reach safety. Saved from becoming a snack by her teammates, Surge ordered a pursuit, and was caught along with Predator X and the New X-Men when Pixie teleported the group to Muir Island. Surge took part in the final battle on Muir Island, leading the New X-Men to victory against the Marauders.
Divided We Stand
Seeking shelter with Dani Moonstar after the X-Men disband, Nori literally runs all the way to Dani's cabin without stopping (from where is not made clear, but it is assumed that she began at the ruins of the mansion). Tearfully breaking down over her various mistakes, she renounces her worth both as an X-Man and as team leader, and is generally inconsolable. While Dani tries to convince her that the trials she faced have only made her stronger, Nori remains unconvinced and unsure of where to go from here. Eventually, however, Nori would rejoin the X-Men in San Francisco, feeling more confident but seemingly having abandoned her prior role of leadership. Surge was one of the many X-Men who took part in the defense of San Francisco against the invading Skrulls.
Kidnapped by the Leper Queen
Nori is one of several mutants who is abducted by the Leper Queen and her Sapian League for the purpose of being injected with their modified Legacy Virus and used as living bombs against humans, in hopes of turning public sentiments against them. Along with fellow New X-Men Hellion, Noriko is kidnapped, injected and sent to the United Nations Building in New York City in hopes that the destruction of this famous landmark will cause the international community to clamp down on mutant rights. Surge and Hellion are teleported away just as the new X-Force storms the building, and just as Wolverine manages to learn their location from the Leper Queen, he and the rest of the team are teleported into the future by Cyclops to find Cable before they can rescue the children. Upon returning to the present day, X-Force arrives just in time to confront the Sapian League members transporting Surge and Hellion to the UN building. Already injected by the Legacy Virus and with her powers spilling out of control, Noriko attempts to flee the scene in hopes of getting away from the crowds and thus harming fewer people. Archangel's programming kicks in before he can help Nori, leading to a critical delay, and only after Wolverine stabs him does he retrieve Surge so Elixir can heal her. Moments before the two former New X-Men touch, however, it appears that Surge's powers detonated in a massive electrical explosion, catching much of X-Force and the protesters in the blast. A panicked Domino runs to the scene from far away, and is surprised to see everyone alive, though Hellion, Surge and Elixir are all unconscious. Logan explains that Josh managed to burn away the Legacy virus from Surge, but Noriko has built up too great a charge. When she released the energy, Hellion had redirected the energy into the sky using his telekinesis. The three teen mutants are then brought back to the Graymalkin Institute to recover from the ordeal.
Surge is present alongside the other X-Men when a confrontation between several mutants and Simon Trask's Humanity Now! coalition sparks a series of massive riots in the San Francisco area. Assigned alongside Colossus and Cipher, Surge does her part to help bring the riot under control, arresting ringleaders, cordoning off sections of the city and helping the wounded get to safety. Unfortunately, her hard efforts and those of her allies are stalled when Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers show up to bring the situation under control, and Nori is ordered to flee back to the X-Men's base when Venom attacks Colossus. Nori manages to arrive at Graymalkin Industries safely, however, and joins the other X-Men as they try and wait out the proverbial storm unleashed by Osborn's Avengers and Trask's anti-mutant supporters. When X-Club raised the sunken Asteroid M from the bottom of San Francisco Bay, Surge is among the many mutants transported to their new home by Pixie, Magik and the X-Men's other teleporters. During the final battle against Osborn's Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men, Nori aids the rest of the New X-Men and Iceman in bringing down Mimic, and joins the rest of the mutant community as they work to build their new home on Utopia. When Osborn, furious at his defeat at the hands of the X-Men and the betrayal of both Namor and Emma Frost, sends the maddened, monsterous Marrina to destroy Utopia and the Atlantians in retaliation, Surge proves to be instrumental in the former Alphan's defeat, using her electric powers to stun the creature long enough for the rest of the X-Men to dispatch her. Nori continues to have many adventures and battles with the rest of the X-Men, including joining Cyclop's attack against the Hidden City of the Agents of Atlas in order to retrieve the stolen Cerebro, leading the New X-Men to free some of their captured teammates from the mutant Sack with the help of Psylocke and Dazzler, and helping Hellion and Prodigy fight off the resurrected Rusty Collins when Utopia is atttacked by Selene's Transmode-revived mutant servitors. Shortly after the Necrosha incident, Surge began to experience a loss of control regarding her powers, with even the simplest application spiralling quickly out of control. Realizing that each incident occurred within the presence of Magneto, another inhabitant of the island, Nori asked Rogue to look into the situation, as she was somewhat intimidated by the Master of Magnetism. When confronted, Magneto stated that he was using his control over electromagnetism to boost Surge's powers in order to help her reach her full potential (albeit without her knowledge or consent). Rogue was able to convince Magnus to stop interfering with her powers, but it remains to see what effects this will have in the long term.
Powers and Abilities
Electrical Absorption: absorbs electricity at all times: from static in the air, electrical appliances, outlets, etc (often causing lights to flicker, etc). She can't control the absorption, and thus must wear specifically-designed gauntlets at all times to regulate it.
- Lightning Blasts: She can discharge the energy through lightning blasts from her hands or body
- Superhuman Speed: ability to channel the energy into bursts of super-speed
Surge is a native Japanese speaker who speaks English fluently, with little trace of an accent.
If Noriko doesn't discharge the electricity that builds in her body causes her mind to race.
Power Gauntlets: which allow her to regulate intake and release, which minimizes her problems with her ability
- According to her creators, Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, Noriko was seventeen-years-old at the beginning of the first series. As an entire school year has passed, it might be assumed that she is now eighteen. However, given Marvel's floating timeline policy, that may not be the case.
- Surge's real hair color is black but she dyed it blue.
Surge is a brash, independent young woman, extremely loyal to her friends and venomously hostile towards those she considers her enemies, such as Stryker and Belasco. Very forthright and strong-minded, Nori has often clashed with her peers and superiors, from nearly getting into a brawl with Hellion after he insulted Prodigy's baseline status post-M-Day, and challenging Cyclops' assertion that the students are safe at the Institute (this taking place immediately after a series of devastating attacks by the Purifiers). Nori also considers herself a feminist, attacking Dust's choice of garb as a betrayal of women's rights when the two are roomed together. Regardless, Nori is a loyal figure, dedicated to her friends, and increasingly feeling the responsibilities placed upon her as leader of the New X-Men. Surge was particularly incensed with Hellion's decision to rescue Mercury from the Faculty without backup, and has taken it upon herself to mold the team into an effective unit capable of defending the rest of the students. Chris Yost has stated that, "Surge is the right candidate, because she wants it the least. And you’ll see, it’s taking a big toll on her. Being a leader when you’re doing team sports and field day exercises is one thing, but leading when the stakes are life and death is another thing".